Heart Disease: Pharaohs Had It, Too

'Part of the human condition,' so fast food not only culprit

By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 17, 2009 7:20 PM CST

(Newser) – In a finding that pokes holes in the thinking that our modern fast-food lifestyle is behind heart disease, scientists have discovered that Egypt’s mummies, too, had hardened arteries. “Atherosclerosis is not just a disease of modern times,” one researcher tells WebMD. “It’s part of the human condition.” CT scans found some evidence of hardening in nine of 16 mummies; one skeptic notes that only the upper classes—more likely to eat a rich diet—could be mummified.

A mummy enters a CT scanner tube set up outside of the Egyptian National Museum of Antiquities in Cairo.
A mummy enters a CT scanner tube set up outside of the Egyptian National Museum of Antiquities in Cairo.   (AP Photo)
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